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Can you imagine…

…illustrating something that is as famous as the twitter bird and selling it on istock and then finding it on something like twitter?
I have found the original twitter bird illustration! http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-3412146-eco-sing-song.php after a hint from @aigacharlotte. Apparently Simon Oxley (a British designer living in Japan…he actually went to Japan to find a wife – which he did) also created the istockphoto character (and he says the logo but I’m not sold on that).
You can catch his interview here: http://reubenmiller.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/11/exclusive-inter.html
By the way, since it’s actually still a royalty-free image, you can have the twitter bird too.


The Value of Quality

There was an article in the local paper about Congressman Mike Turner getting heat from The Wall Street Journal over a digital camera purchase he wrote off which was $1,435. Some people might think that sum quite ridiculous – but probably no one that is serious in photography. The camera purchase was for corporate use (not personal). Being in the market to buy a camera myself, I just can’t afford something over $1,000 only on the front that I don’t have it solely for my business (I’m not a photographer…I need a good enough quality camera for product shots for clients or for work at Think TV since their camera is only 5 MP and going on 8 years old and they can’t afford a better one). There are lenses that cost over $12,000 and camera’s over $7,000. For the price Mike Turner had paid for a camera, he’s probably getting a very low end professional camera. I am looking into the Rebel XSI (12 MP) and it’s $700 with a lens. My first camera cost $400 (Olympus Stylus 800 – 8MP) but it can’t take anything near the quality or size of the XSI. If Mike Turner wants professional photos (which he should) and he doesn’t want to hire a photographer, then that is the best route to go.

Apparently The Wall Street Journal only sees numbers, and not the value of quality behind them.


Security Goes South

There are two kinds of security risks…those that are personal (feeling secure) and those that are defensive (like locked in a vault). I’ve got two interesting stories today about each.

First is the Jitterbug. It is pretty much geared towards seniors by their advertising because the cell phone is free of all the unnecessary add-ons one my age might wish in a phone. It’s purely the basics one would need. Now given probably most of the users might get this for emergencies, the Jitterbug has one flaw (it has been recalled) – they failed to connect to 911. Now personally, that’s one of the main reasons I have my phone with me in the car – if there is an emergency. The personal security is out the window for the owners of those faulty phones.

The second is that of defensive security and this one goes out to the government. They had wanted to get some money off of old hard drives so they had a brilliant notion to sell them on eBay. They just forgot one thing – to wipe off the old data. Now there is a ton of sensitive military data floating around. From a Daily Mail article (UK):

British researchers found the data while studying more than 300 hard disks bought at computer auctions, computer fairs and eBay.

The experts also uncovered other sensitive information including bank account details, medical records, confidential business plans, financial company data, personal id numbers, and job descriptions.

The drives were bought from the UK, America, Germany, France and Australia by BT’s Security Research Centre in collaboration with the University of Glamorgan in Wales, Edith Cowan University in Australia and Longwood University in the US.

A spokesman for BT said they found 34 per cent of the hard disks scrutinised contained ‘information of either personal data that could be identified to an individual or commercial data identifying a company or organisation.’

It makes you wonder if we should use the word security anymore since it’s so easy to lose it.


Toggling Time

I recently discovered a new time tracking tool called Toggl (you can visit at toggl.com). I needed something that I could use that was web-based since I do work from two locations (at my full-time job if I have down-time and at home). The nice thing about this is that the free version really doesn’t have too many limitations (you can even have up to 20 users). It integrates with Basecamp for the paid

 

version and also you can have billable hour rates in there and planned tasks. For me it’s perfect. They also have widgets for Mac/PC plus a gadget for gmail (http://www.toggl.com/toggl-gadget.xml). I have mine synced to my Google account so I can login without typing anything in.

It also has a desktop version if you need to work without the internet (you need internet access to import your settings and then when you want to update it to the internet).


Promotional ideas.

Twitter can be used as a great promotional tool (even to run a contest). EVGA is holding a contest to twitter followers. You can enter the promotion here. It’s a great idea to build up your followers by offering a prize. Perhaps it’s something your business could consider.

Your newsletter could also be used as a promotional tool for clients. I was thinking that I usually end up cross-marketing people I know. I thought it would be a good opportunity to add a “featured client/vendor” on my newsletter I send out typically about once a month. The client/vendor would be able to do a write-up for their company. If any of my clients are reading this (because I know I linked this blog on the latest newsletter), let me know what you think about this idea. I send out to about 20 people across the Americas.